Evening & Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Education: Special Education

Course Descriptions

The Master of Arts in Education degree with a concentration in special education is a thirty-three (33) credit hour program. The program is designed to prepare teachers for a teaching endorsement in the area of adaptive special education at the level of their current teaching license. Thus the program prepares teachers who can effectively instruct children and youth who have learning problems and needs in the mild through moderate ranges.

A candidate who is employed to teach in a special education classroom may qualify for a provisional teaching license after completing the following courses:

SPED 700 INTRODUCTION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS WITH ADAPTIVE LEARNING NEEDS

This course prepares the teacher with an understanding of students’ diverse learning needs and characteristics that support their cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and career development needs. The teacher will develop and understanding of the philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of the interrelatedness of education and special education.

Three credit hours

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SPED 702 ADAPTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS AND STRATEGIES: K-6 AND/OR 5-8

This course prepares the teacher to plan and implement effective instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of diverse adaptive learners in the K-6 and/or 5-8 classroom.

Prerequisite SPED 700. Three credit hours

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SPED 703 ADAPTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS AND STRATEGIES: 6-12

This course prepares the teacher to plan and implement effective instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of diverse adaptive learners in the 6-12 classroom.

Prerequisite SPED 700. Three credit hours

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SPED 704 ADAPTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES AND METHODS FIELD PRACTICUM

The teacher in this field-based practicum demonstrates knowledge and skill in planning and implementing effective instruction which is built upon standards-based goals for content, students, and community. The teacher promotes a supportive learning environment that encourages student participation.

Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in SPED 702 or SPED 703. Three credit hours

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SPED 706 COLLABORATIONS WITH PARENTS AND AGENCIES

This course instructs the teacher in effective communication and collaboration skills in working with parents and agencies. Proven strategies in problem solving and conflict resolution will be covered.

Prerequisite SPED 700. Three credit hours

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SPED 708 ASSESSMENTS OF STUDENTS WITH ADAPTIVE LEARNING NEEDS

This course prepares the teacher to screen, assess and identify the needs of adaptive learners and then effectively link the information gathered to intervention strategies and methods.

Prerequisite SPED 700.  Three credit hours

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SPED 710 COMMUNICATION/COLLABORATION WITHIN THE SCHOOL SETTINGS

The course prepares the teacher to develop and refine communication and collaborative skills and knowledge to work effectively with students, Para educators, administrators, teachers, volunteers, and other school personnel to foster a supportive learning environment.

Prerequisite SPED 700.  Three credit hours

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SPED 712 CREATING OPTIMAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH ADAPTIVE LEARNING NEEDS

This course prepares the teacher to develop the knowledge and skills in behavior management to foster positive relations, promote student self-advocacy and student problem-solving to facilitate learning.

Prerequisite SPED 700.  Three credit hours

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SPED 714 INQUIRY, DATA COLLECTION, AND RESEARCH

This course assists the teacher in developing knowledge of data collection and research techniques that will enable her to design a research project that addresses a specific educational practice in a classroom setting with students with adaptive learning needs. This plan will be implemented in SPED 716.

Prerequisites SPED 700, SPED 702 or 703, SPED 704, SPED 706, SPED 708, SPED 710, SPED 712.  Three credit hours

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SPED 716 ADVANCED PRACTICUM

This advanced field-based practicum focuses on the teacher as a facilitator of effective instruction, developer of supportive learning environments, and a promoter of social skills demonstrating professional, ethical, collaborative, and effective communication skills. The research project designed in SPED 714 will be conducted during this practicum.

Prerequisite SPED 714. Three credit hours

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SPED 720 NEGOTIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

This course examines the processes of negotiation and conflict resolution and prepares the teacher to develop problem-solving strategies with parents, educators, and other community professionals. A variety of effective strategies and techniques will be presented through simulation, role-playing, readings, lectures, and discussions.

Three credit hours

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SPED 722 COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

This course prepares teachers to address the common communication problems of students with special needs. Course topics include strategies to accommodate the special needs of students with speech and language disorders including English language learners.

Three credit hours

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